After that, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it as I continued to think about Setsu-kun.
By the time I had noticed, I was already outside of Mon Pet Kuwa, walking together with Kawachi-kun along the road.
“Still, I was quite surprised. I never expected Setsu to be working part time… Next time, I’ll have him treat me to something.”
He said that as he walked a little bit in front of me. It might have been unexpected for Kawachi-kun, but to me, it was something that has been apart of my daily life. It hasn’t quite been a year yet but being coworkers with Setsu-kun is something that I have already come to take for granted and I had never thought about that changing.
Most likely, if it was the me from a few months ago, I would have thought nothing of this, but right now it’s different. Right now I clearly hold special feelings for Setsu-kun. That’s why there’s no way I would be able to take this easily. I continued to be lost in thought while thinking of Setsu-kun since the last time that Kawachi-kun spoke.
“Echizen-san, did something happen?”
Because of that, he ended up matching my pace as he said that to me.
“It’s nothing. Nothing’s wrong.”
“Really? That’s alright I guess, but…”
From his tone, it seems that he hasn’t accepted my answer. However, for him to not ask further is a product of his kindness. Like that, Kawachi-kun continued to talk to me normally, as if my attitude from earlier did not even happen.
“Then, do you want to head back now? Or do you want to go and do something?”
“Let’s head back.”
“I see… Then, before we go back, there’s a place I want to stop by, is that alright?”
“Great. Then, let’s go.”
Since it seems that he has somewhere he wants to go, after giving a light laugh, Kawachi-kun began to walk slightly in front of me again. After which, I ended up following behind him.
It was about a 10 minute walk with almost no conversation at all. We left the urban area which had many stores and passed through a residential area. I don’t know much about this area, but Kawachi-kun seemed to walk without any hesitation in where he was going. Really, where is he going?
I continued to think as we kept walking until we reached a park. At that moment, the scenery that opened up in front of me made me hold my breath despite myself. The scene was filled with the red color of autumn leaves dancing in the air. It was a fantastic sight that I’ve never seen before, making me think that it was beautiful. While my eyes were stolen by the scenery, Kawachi-kun moved close to me and opened his mouth gently.
“Well? It’s amazing, right?”
“Yeah, it is…”
“This place is pretty nice, you see. I don’t know much about it, but I quite like it.”
I really sympathized a lot with his words. I also really like this place. It was the first time I’ve been moved so much like this.
“Yeah, it’s a nice place.”
“Right? And well, there’s something I wanted to say here…”
“Hmmm, what is it?”
I said that as I turned towards Kawachi-kun who seemed nervous. It also seemed that he had resolved himself for something as he looked straight at me.
“Echizen-san, I like you. Please date me.”
Hearing his confession, my body stiffened. I never thought he would say something like this with this timing. Besides, I’m surprised by the fact that he likes me. Since I tend to be pretty dense with these types of things, I completely didn’t notice. I was really surprised by this, but my answer was already decided.
“I’m sorry. I can’t date you.”
Just saying that would be fine. So far, when I’ve been confessed to, I’ve always ended up giving such an unfeeling response. This time as well…
Or that’s what I thought, but for some reason, those words wouldn’t come from my mouth. I just needed to refuse like I normally did, but my mouth stayed shut. Instead, it was “tears” that came out. I, the one who was being confessed to, broke down into tears.
“Eh, eh!? W-wait, what’s wrong, Echizen-san?”
“N-nothing, sorry. It’s just…”
Kawachi-kun came to me looking worried. For such a gentle person, I’m now going to… Thinking that, I felt like crying again. However, having him wait any longer would be wrong. Delaying my response would be rude to Kawachi-kun. Besides, why did tears come out in the first place I wonder.
It’s probably because I know how it feels now. Falling in love with someone, and then possibly having that person reject you, that is something that I know all too well. I think of the regret, the sadness I would feel.
Love can be so painful.
And now, Kawachi-kun will have a taste of this pain. Since I’ll be making him feel that way, I ended up crying for how sorry I was. Because of that, I was thinking it would be fine if I date him, but as I thought, I like Setsu-kun too much. I can’t go out with him now.
Biting my lips gently, I made the decision. Then, slowly, just like the autumn leaves dancing around us, I opened my mouth and spoke.
“I’m… sorry. I can’t date you… Kawachi-kun…”